Lloyd Monserratt : biography
Lloyd Monserratt (December 2, 1966 - January 9, 2003), was born in Los Angeles, California, the eldest son of Ecuadorian immigrants Carlos and Olga Monserratt. His father was an architect and named his eldest son after Frank Lloyd Wright.
Monserratt graduated with honors from Saint Francis High School in La Cañada. He was an Eagle Scout.Troop 203, San Gabriel Valley Council, December 5, 1984 A graduate of UCLA, Lloyd was a leader in the student movement, as a student commissioner, and later as student body president.
Known for his energy and enthusiasm, his brief life had an impact on the California and Latino political scenes. He trained a number future Latino politicians while a director at NALEO and was a political and community leader in his own right. His death, from a pulmonary embolism after a gastric bypass surgery, sent a shock through the California Democratic circles. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Michelle Ramos. He was survived by his mother, Olga Monserratt, brother, Ernest G. Monserratt, nephew, Carlos F. Monserratt and his niece Sofia A. Monserratt.
Early political activism
Social activism was instilled in Monserratt early in life. At age 9 his father brought him along to protest the opening of the El Cid adult bookstore on Main Street in the San Gabriel Valley city of Alhambra. The store was eventually forced to close by the continuing presence of the protestors led by the Catholic League from the local parish.
Believing in the concept of direct action, Monserratt was known for working tirelessly as a community builder. He created the Parents Institute while Chief of Staff to LAUSD Board Member Vicki Castro, and Los Angeles' "Bulky Item drop off centers."
"He had already become a legend, at the age of 36, throughout the greater Eastside of the city of Los Angeles and throughout the Latino community statewide," said Council President Alex Padilla. "I don't think he had an equal."
"He was a tremendous leader and motivator of people," said David Hoffman, who was USAC president during the 1988 election and was a close friend of Monserratt.
- El Sereno Branch Library (in memory of Lloyd Monserratt)
- Lloyd Monserratt Pleasant House, Jovenes, Inc. - Providing emergency shelter to homeless, immigrant youth.
Student leadership at UCLA
During his years at UCLA, Monserratt was extensively involved with the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC). Leading a coalition of minority students, he was elected president of USAC in 1988. The 1988 campaign pitted the coalition of minority students, the Third World Coalition, against the candidates put forth by members of Greek system (this antagonism continues today).
After the election, he was declared ineligible due to a dispute over his academic qualifications and denied office. Prior to the election, the student Election Board had approved the applications of all candidates for President, certifying that they met the academic requirements among other things. Days after the election, the USAC members who had endorsed Monserratt's opponents voted to overrule the Election Board, applying their own eligilibity criteria retroactively. They were accused by many of subverting student democracy and taking through legislation what they had failed to win in the student vote.
After USAC ex post facto declared Monserratt ineligible, the Third World Coalition sought to put forth a new candidate in his place. However, this was not permitted by the USAC. Thus, the election to replace Monserratt was between Mike Meehan and Mike Soules (who had already lost in the primary and endorsed Mike Meehan), with Meehan eventually winning.
Some students viewed the move as racially motivated, and a group of about 200, most of them members of minority groups, marched on the polling places after a heated rally protesting the disqualification. A near riot ensued when candidates from the Third World Coalition slate protested the disqualification of their presidential candidate. The election was appealed through the internal student government appellate process, and the school administration, where Monserratt's ineligibility was affirmed.
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